Common Causes for Burn Injuries

You exercise caution to avoid injury. You wear protective gear to avoid getting hurt at work. You wear your seatbelt as you drive-and you also drive the speed limit. You may even pay extra attention when you walk around your neighborhood to avoid tripping on a broken sidewalk.

Unfortunately, circumstances outside of your control could cause you to become injured. For example, a bowl of too-hot soup from your favorite restaurant could spill in your lap and burn your legs. Though burn injuries range from minor to severe, their effects can be devastating.

If you ever receive a burn injury, you’ll want to file a personal injury claim to receive compensation-especially if that burn caused you to miss work or led to permanent damage. In this blog, we discuss the most common types of burn injuries and what causes them.


A type of thermal burn, flame burns are some of the most commonly sustained burns in the United States. According to a study conducted by the American Burn Association, about 46% of burn injuries are caused by direct contact with flame or fire. Some of the most common causes for flame-induced burn injuries include:bs-8-firerescue

  • Bonfires
  • Car accidents that result in open flames
  • Electrical fires
  • Gas stoves
  • Grills
  • Kerosene heaters

Additionally, workplace fires account for a large number of burns each year. Oftentimes faulty equipment or electrical malfunctions can cause a fire that leads to severe injury.

Victims of fire burns often suffer from second- and third-degree burns, depending on the heat and intensity of the flames. While second-degree burns heal much more quickly, third-degree burns can require reconstructive surgery, skin grafts, and rehabilitation therapy.


Chemical burns often result from improper handling of chemicals such as:

  • Acid
  • Bleach
  • Chlorine
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Concrete mix
  • Lye

Though these burns affect only 3% of people nationwide, these injuries often have serious side effects. For example, some victims may lose their sense of touch if the chemical caused extreme burns.

Steam or Hot Liquids

As mentioned in the introduction, hot liquids can cause severe burns. If a liquid is heated to unsafe levels, it can cause deep second-degree burns on the skin’s surface. And if a person consumed such a hot liquid, he or she would likely sustain internal burns that might be difficult to treat.

The following liquids are some of the most common culprits for scalding burns:

  • Coffee and tea
  • Soup
  • Hot tap water

Likewise, steam from cooking food or boiling liquids can burn the skin. These burns are typically less severe, but they may still require a person to seek medical attention. The Electrical Safety Foundation International reports that over 100,000 men and women visit the emergency room and are treated for scalding burns, with many of those patients being either elderly or young children.


Most people aren’t typically exposed to radiation, so the risk of sustaining these kinds of burns is relatively small. However, defective medical equipment (such as X-ray machines or cancer therapy equipment) or tanning equipment can cause radiation burns. Depending on the length of exposure and the intensity of the radiation, an individual could sustain first- or second-degree burns. Some burns have even caused the skin to turn black.

Though medical equipment and tanning bed manufacturers try to ensure that a machine won’t malfunction, a broken part or improper care and maintenance of the device could cause a person to become burned.

Electrical Appliances

Along with fire and hot liquids, electrical appliances also cause a high number of burns in the US. The following devices typically cause these burns:

  • Clothes irons
  • Curling irons
  • Flat irons
  • Electric stoves
  • Hot plates
  • Heating pads
  • Laptops

Electrical wiring, faulty outlets, and other electrical components also cause severe electrical burns. These burns can cause more damage than most other burn types, especially because the injury is usually internal.

For example, if an employee accidentally touched an exposed electrical wire at work, he or she may sustain organ damage, depending on the intensity of the electrical current that passed through his or her body.

Turn to a Trusted Lawyer to File a Claim

If you’ve sustained any of the burn injuries listed above, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may have a case-especially if these burns seriously caused you to miss work or have lasting effects.

An attorney can help you file multiple injury claims if necessary. For example, if you received a burn injury from a piece of equipment that caught fire, you might be able to file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer, as well as a personal injury claim against the equipment manufacturer.

If you have questions about how you can receive compensation from a burn injury claim, your attorneys can provide answers. Rely on these professionals to get you the compensation you need so you can focus more on healing from your injuries.

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